Is It Good to Shower Every Day?
There’s no doubt about it: there are many benefits in having a shower. It relieves body aches and pains, increases blood flow, improves concentration, reduces fatigue and stress, and, depending on the type of bath or shower, can even improve your breathing. However, despite all these benefits, our question for today is: should you shower every day?
Many countries maintain this tradition, although from a medical perspective it may not be necessary for people to shower as often as this. However, it’s clear that some types of jobs make a daily shower essential, beyond the social standards of cleanliness and personal appearance.
The rule of thumb is that you don’t need to bathe every day, so skipping your daily shower isn’t always bad. Continue to learn about the habits of showering too much, not showering enough, and other bathroom-related issues.
How much is too much?
Despite the recommendation of dermatologists, the frequency we shower is largely up to us. Keep in mind that we’re all different and, in addition, our body temperatures change, and climates can vary, and so whether or not we feel we should shower may differ throughout the year.
In reality, there’s no hard and fast rule for us to know how much is too much; observation and intuition will tell you when it’s necessary, and your body will give you the signs you need. Keep in mind that showering every day or too often could cause:
- Dry and flaky skin
- Itching or increased sensitivity
- Dull, brittle, and dry hair
- Possible breakouts on the skin such as eczema
If you’re someone who doesn’t like to skip daily showers, The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you stick with one shower per day, as that is enough. Going overboard with your showers can wash away your body’s natural oils and lead to dryness, inflammation, and eczema. The skin also tends to crack, flake, and redden.
If you suffer from psoriasis, having more than one shower a day can be counterproductive since you run the risk of triggering an outbreak. Another reason why bathing every day might not be a good idea is that it tends to wash away the “good bacteria” from your skin, increasing your risk of infection.
Another reason is that of water consumption. When it comes to bathing or showering, we may not be aware of just how much water we use.
Taking short showers will reduce your water and electricity or gas bills.
The shower varies according to the seasons
We can’t stop the coming and going of the seasons. Depending on the country, winter is colder and drier, and summer hotter and more humid, and so the weather can often affect how often you shower.
The cold temperatures of winter make it necessary to use heating in the home and office, which leads to the skin becoming drier. In the same way, the bathing routine should be changed to protect the skin from dryness. For this reason, it’s recommended to take into account the following tips:
- Showers should be shorter. Don’t exceed 5 minutes.
- Take a shower or bath with the door closed in order to trap steam and increase humidity.
- Avoid hot, soapy showers. A warm bath with a mild cleanser is recommended.
- Don’t go overboard with cleansers to cleanse your skin. A little is enough.
- Pat dry in a gentle motion.
- Within 3 minutes of bathing, apply moisturizer generously to your entire body to trap moisture into your skin.
Shower according to age
Showers vary as we grow and age. We recommend taking the following into account:
Babies don’t need to be bathed daily. According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, the right time to wash an infant is when they begin to crawl and stop breastfeeding.
Although daily bathing in children aged 6 to 11 is safe, The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that they only need to shower every few days. Upon reaching puberty, more intuition is needed, as this varies from person to person and it may be necessary to shower every day.
This depends on how active they are. Teens who maintain an exercise sports routine may need daily showers.
Older adults may not need to bathe every day. In that sense, two or three showers per week could be enough in order to maintain and protect the skin. On the other days, they can use warm cloths to wash and keep cool if they need to.
If you have an older adult at home, helping them bathe could be of great help, as with each passing year their mobility is reduced.
Daily showers could depend on your job
How often you need to shower depends on the type of job you have. People who work in offices or closed places don’t have the same need to shower as those who work with chemicals, animals, or in places considered to be unsanitary.
The trades or professions that could require more frequent baths are those miners, garbage collectors, butcher,s and fumigators, to name but four. You’ll need to shower at the end of each shift if you work with dangerous substances, pathogens, or radioactive or corrosive materials.
You could reduce your risk of skin lesions by showering as soon as you get home if you spend a lot of your time around a variety of plants. Horticulturists, arborists, and home gardeners should consider this recommendation.
According to a study published in Harvard Business Review, cold showers reduce sick days. The study revealed that people who took a shower of at least 30 seconds were 29% less likely to get ill than those who didn’r.
What happens if you don’t shower enough?
You shouldn’t overdo it, because both showering too much and showering too little could be counterproductive. Find a balance to maintain your skin health and body hygiene in optimal condition.
Skipping showers for too long can allow the odor to take over. Sweat glands line much of your body, and these generate a lot of sweat when they overheat. It’s inevitable that sooner or later you’ll start to smell bad.
Skipping showers also increases the accumulation of dead cells, dirt, and sweat on the skin, and this eventually clogs your pores. In short, if you don’t shower enough you could experience the following conditions:
- Bad body odor
- For extreme cases, thick, scaly patches known as dermatitis neglecta
How to bathe?
Some tips to protect and take care of the skin when it comes to showering are the following:
- Don’t bathe or shower in hot water, it’s best to use lukewarm water, as hot water has been shown to irritate the skin.
- Only take one shower a day, if you like to bathe daily. Every other day might be fine, and on the days you don’t, wash your face, armpits, and groin with a washcloth or some water.
- Don’t take more than 10 minutes in the shower.
- Use mild soap and cleanser, and be sure to rinse off the soap well after use.
- Pat yourself dry, because rubbing your skin with a cloth or towel isn’t recommended. This way you can better retain moisture.
- Remember to use moisturizer after every shower.
What to remember about showering every day?
Bathing too often can backfire. Some types of work require showering every day or more regularly than others, for example, those that have contact with toxic substances or who work in unhygienic areas.
There are no hard and fast rules to tell you how much showering is too much. You just have to be a bit intuitive in order to keep skincare and body hygiene in balance.
Avoid hot water in winter, however tempting it may be. Consult your dermatologist if, despite looking after your skin well, it still looks dry, inflamed, or irritated.
- The American Academy of Dermatology. Ask a Dermatologist: Do long, hot showers damage your skin? Available from: https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-basics/dry/hot-showers-damage-skin
- The American Academy of Pediatrics [Published 2020 Mar 03]. Bathing Your Baby. Available from: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/bathing-skin-care/Pages/Bathing-Your-Newborn.aspx
- The American Academy of Dermatology. How to bathe your newborn. Available from: https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-basics/care/newborn-bathing
- Harvard Business Review [Published Mar-Apr 2018]. Cold Showers Lead to Fewer Sick Days. Available from: https://hbr.org/2018/03/cold-showers-lead-to-fewer-sick-days
- Sasaya, E. M., Ghislandi, C., Trevisan, F., Ribeiro, T. B., Mulinari-Brenner, F., & Gaiewski, C. B. (2015). Dermatosis neglecta. Anais brasileiros de dermatologia, 90(3 Suppl 1), 59–61. https://doi.org/10.1590/abd1806-4841.20153656
- InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Skin care for eczema. 2017 Feb 23. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK424900/